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Saturday, June 20, 2015

A colony of families

There are times you just read over stuff in the scriptures and totally miss what is being said.  You can do this year after year, without even "getting" something. I kind of think this may be on purpose because God has a season and a specific time for certain things to catch our attention.  In those moments, he pours something into our lives by sometimes even the shortest of passages. What we do with what God gives us is ours to determine - he can provide the feeding, but he cannot force feed us.  He can spoon feed us, but he doesn't cram it down our throats!  One thing is for sure - remain open to what he provides and you will have your "fill" of good things and "stuff" you can actually use in your own life!  Did you ever stop to consider for just a moment how much "scripture" is declared in the things around you, not just in the written words between those leather bindings you call a Bible?  It is true, for even the heavens tell of his glory and the world of nature all around you bespeaks the creator's power, honor, and majesty.  Sometimes all that is needed is for us to just sit back a little and take it all in - contemplating his greatness in the expanse of what we behold.

The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies announce what his hands have made. Each new day tells more of the story, and each night reveals more and more about God’s power. You cannot hear them say anything.  They don’t make any sound we can hear. But their message goes throughout the world. Their teaching reaches the ends of the earth.(Psalm 19:1-2 ERV)

My BFF and I have discovered the little ground hogs are back in the field behind our hospital.  It seems like we see them each year and then all of a sudden, it is like they are gone.  I don't know if they hibernate, move to different parts of the field, or what, but they are there now and we are enjoying them.  There are lots and lots of wee ones, not much bigger around than my thumb, but cute as a button.  We happened on them this year quite by accident, but were both bowled away by the tiny one who came running up to us, actually approaching within just a couple feet of us, obviously looking to see if we had brought them anything good.  It is kind of like the ducks at the park, feed one and the entire flock zooms in.  This tiny critter left a little disappointed that first day, but we have been out there at least 3 times a week since then with left-over morsels, fruit, and the like.  We just sit down on the bench and watch them come out of the various burrows scattered around the shade of the trees and under bushes here and there.  We even have named the "communities" similar to those around us - like that set of burrows is Apache Junction, the other is Cave Creek, and the ones closest to us are Mesa!  So as the "families" emerge, we welcome them from their "township"!

As I stop to consider their little lives, I see just how fragile they are, but also how resilient the can be.  They are tiny, but mighty.  With those tiny little feet, they carve out vast tunnels, inter-related communities, entering one place and emerging in just seconds at a totally different location.  They can scamper with quickness akin to race car drivers going from zero to sixty in under a few seconds.  Yet, they are also constantly attentive to their environment - scouting for those birds who might swoop in and carry away their young.  They must compete for their food, with grackles and black birds and sparrows zeroing in on anything left for them to feed upon.  Their constant "hunt" for food is unending, emerging in the coolness of the morning, the stillness of the evening, and likely the cover of darkness to gather seed pods falling from the mesquite trees. When we come along, there may not be one in sight, but when we call for them, one emerges, then two, and then you hear these tiny high-pitched little cries. Within minutes, the older ones emerge, followed by the tiniest of the colonies.  Each sits at attention, awaiting the treat of the day.

We are kind of like those wee creatures - buried deep in the "regular" part of our days, not really aware of what is going on around us, until all of a sudden we catch a glimpse of something good.  In just that short moment of time, our worlds can change.  We can go from being absorbed in the day-after-day existence we are enduring into the delights of something magnificent and totally unexpected.  Yesterday, we took them cherries.  A couple of days before that, we took them grapes, and even an orange.  It was comical to see them race hither and yon, gathering up their new-found treats, and even more comical to see the wee ones hold them in their front paws and chow down.  The "good stuff" is constantly different for them - just as it is for us.  We can count on one thing - God isn't boring!  He delights in giving us new things in new ways, but really their are simply "old things" reborn in a way we just don't fully understand.  

As we sat there a couple days this week, the humidity was high, but the clouds in the sky were delightful.  Big, fluffy, and filled with rain!  June isn't usually a wet month in the Phoenix area, so we are delighted with even the "prospect" of rain!  Those clouds filled the sky, drifted by and changed shape with such rapid succession, that we just pondered them for a while.  Just like kids on a lazy summer afternoon, my BFF and I just sat their gazing into the skies.  Anyone coming by must have thought we were a little strange - feeding the wee critters, talking with them, and then gazing into the vastness of the skies.  I don't know what was running through the head of my companion as much as I do know what was deep within my heart.  There was an appreciation for the smallest of blessings in life - the simplicity of enjoying God's creation spurring the recounting of the blessings of family (as I observed the ground hogs scurrying about), the treasure of friendship (as I sat in companionable silence with my BFF), and the greatness of grace (as I looked into the highest of heavens and considered the awesomeness of our Creator God).

You don't have to look far to see the greatness of God declared, my friends. Sometimes all you need to do is stop long enough to look!  Just sayin!